College basketball picks, schedule: Predictions, odds for Kentucky vs. Tennessee and other key games

Saturday looks like it could be a big day for college basketball. And if it goes anything like this last few days have gone, we could see a wild day on the hardwood.

We’ve already seen 10 ranked teams — including five in the top-10 and eight in the top-16 — take losses this week in the sport. So with 17 ranked teams in action Saturday, there’s bound to be some high-profile teams stumble in similar fashion.

On tap for the day include ranked matchups in the SEC, Big 12 and Big Ten with real conference title implications at stake as the regular season slowly grinds to a halt.

Our staff has convened once again to lay out our picks for the day ahead, so keep scrolling to get against the spread and straight up advice to fade or follow as you wish.

Jonathan Coachman is joined by Mike McClure to dish out the best bets in the NBA and College Basketball for Saturday on The Early Edge. Download and subscribe to The Early Edge on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.  

No. 11 Tennessee at Kentucky

When: 8 p.m. | Where: Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free) 

Between the two standout defensive units and the two struggling offensive units of Kentucky and Tennessee, this game has a real first to 60 wins type vibe. In that context, I actually think UK has a fighting shot, its defined struggles aside. It has managed to hang around in tight games against good teams this season on several occasions, and Tennessee is 4-3 in games decided by single digits. So if ever there was a time UK finally — finally — got a breakthrough, perhaps it’s against a Vols team that’s cooled off after a strong start to SEC play. Prediction: Kentucky 60, Tennessee 59 — Kyle Boone

So who wins every college basketball game today? And which underdogs pull off stunning upsets? Visit SportsLine now to get picks for every game, all from the unbiased model that simulates every game 10,000 times, and find out.

No. 10 Alabama at No. 18 Missouri

When: Noon | Where: Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Missouri
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free) 

Alabama has been the home base for Covertown, USA, of late. It has covered in 10 of its last 12 and 12 of its 19 games this season. More to the point, it has been terrific on the road against the spread, covering the number in four of its five away games. So give me some Crimson Tide here. They’re facing a Mizzou team that’s played two consecutive down-to-the-wire games and is surely shot. That’s a recipe for success for an Alabama team that is going to run up and down the floor at a frenetic pace. Prediction: Alabama 81, Missouri 70 — Kyle Boone

No. 19 Wisconsin at No. 12 Illinois

When: 2:30 p.m. | Where: State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois
TV: Fox | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free) 

There’s nothing about Wisconsin’s recent stretch of games to suggest it can go on the road and pull off an upset here. But there’s everything about Wisconsin under Greg Gard in recent history to suggest it can do exactly that. The Badgers are 17-4 in regular season games the last three seasons under Gard in February and March. And, specifically against Illinois, they have won 15 of their last 16 meetings against the Illini, with the lone loss last season snapping a 15-game winning streak against the Illini. Prediction: Wisconsin 69, Illinois 67 — Kyle Boone

No. 23 Kansas at No. 17 West Virginia

When: 2 p.m. | Where: WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, West Virginia
TV: CBS | Live stream:, CBS Sports App (Free)
OTT: CBS Sports App (Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast) 

Kansas struggles on the road, and West Virginia is out for revenge after a poor defensive effort against the Jayhawks in December. Look for the Mountaineers to hold KU under 65 this time and potentially drop them from the top 25 for the first time since the 2008-09 season. Prediction: West Virginia 79, Kansas 71 — David Cobb

Washington at Oregon

When: 4 p.m. | Where: Knight Arena in Eugene, Oregon
TV: CBS | Live stream:, CBS Sports App (Free)
OTT: CBS Sports App (Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast) 

Oregon is still finding its groove after having to pause due to COVID-19 issues, and Washington has shown flashes of offensive explosively. The Ducks are the pick to win straight up, but don’t be surprised if the Huskies cover the 14-point spread. Prediction: Oregon 75, Washington 68 — David Cobb

North Carolina at Duke

When: 6 p.m. | Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina 
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free) 

Duke is playing better basketball of late. The two-point road loss to Miami aside, it looks like it is starting to turn a corner as freshman Jalen Johnson comes on strong. So with Johnson’s emergence and Matthew Hurt’s continued All-ACC production, Duke at home against its in-state rival — in which it has won three-straight in the series — is my lean here. Might be the last chance to really establish its NCAA Tournament credentials and I don’t think Duke goes down quietly. Prediction: Duke 70, UNC 64 — Kyle Boone